I have an obsession with vegan cookbooks. I am not a vegan, and I rarely eat vegan, but I love the idea of vegan food. I just don't really have the willpower to quit eggs and cheese. But anyways, I know vegan cookbooks very well. I have a large collection of them, and I like poring over them and imagining cooking and eating this delicious food. I have indeed cooked a lot of vegan recipes from my favorite books (my absolute favorite is The Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskovitz and Terry Hope Romero), and the recipes are often delicious and complicated. However, this is the first vegan cookbook I've seen that is as beautiful as this book, with recipes as sophisticated and refined as these. Vegan cookbooks generally focus more on delicious but simple food. These recipes look totally doable, but they reach a level of complexity in flavor combinations that I haven't seen elsewhere. This is in part due to the fact that the book is aimed, as the title suggests, at cooking for special occasions, and the book is organized as a series of menus for different holidays throughout the year. Recipes that sound particularly intriguing and complex to me include Scallion Pancakes with Homemade Kimchi and Wasabi Aioli for Lunar New Year, Morel-Crusted Tofu with Sautéed Mushrooms and Fennel and Pomegranate Salad for Valentine's Day, Chickpea Crepes with Berries and Vanilla-Lavendar Cream for Passover, Pumpkin Seed-Crusted Tempeh with Roasted Ginger-Maple Sweet Potatoes and Cranberry-Orange Relish for Thanksgiving, and Truffle Tofu Medallions with Wild Mushrooms and Pinot Gris Sauce for New Year's Eve. This food sounds and looks more like what you would eat at a nice vegan restaurant than what one generally finds in vegan cookbooks. I've eaten at Candle Cafe once, and these recipes sound just like the yummy food I had there. I wouldn't cook this kind of thing every day (although that's not, again, to say that these recipes look very complicated, which they don't...I'm just very lazy), but this is perfect food for special occasions. The book also includes many yummy-sounding desserts and cocktails.
(I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.)